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Association of Self-reported Walking Pace With Type 2 Diabetes Incidence in the UK Biobank Prospective Cohort Study



      To investigate the association between self-reported walking pace and type 2 diabetes (T2D) incidence and whether it differed by physical activity levels and walking time.


      There were 162,155 participants (mean age, 57.1 years; 54.9% women) from the UK Biobank prospective study, recruited between 2006 and 2010, included in the study. Walking pace was self-reported and classified as brisk, average, or slow. Total physical activity and walking time were self-reported using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Association between walking pace and T2D incidence and the potential moderating role of physical activity and walking time were investigated using Cox proportional hazards models.


      The median follow-up was 7.4 (interquartile range, 6.7 to 8.2) years. There were 4442 participants in whom T2D developed during the follow-up period. In the fully adjusted model (sociodemographic factors, diet, body mass index, and physical activity), average walking pace (hazard ratio [HR], 1.28; 95% CI, 1.14 to 1.44) and slow walking pace (HR, 1.91; 95% CI, 1.62 to 2.24) were associated with a higher T2D risk compared with brisk walking among women. Among men, average walking pace (HR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.17 to 1.40) and slow walking pace (HR, 1.73; 95% CI, 1.50 to 1.99) were also associated with higher T2D risk. Compared with slow walkers, brisk walkers have the same diabetes incidence rate 18.6 and 16.0 years later, for women and men, respectively.


      Average and slow walking pace was associated with a higher risk of incident T2D in both men and women, independent of major confounding factors. The associations were consistent across different physical activity levels and walking time.

      Abbreviations and Acronyms:

      BMI (body mass index), CVD (cardiovascular disease), HR (hazard ratio), T2D (type 2 diabetes)
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